The spring jazz program is back in full swing – most of it is still virtual, but some of it is personal. The big event on Friday is International Jazz Day, an annual UNESCO-sponsored celebration that is now being held for the tenth time and culminating in an All-Star Global Concert that takes place at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on jazzday.com with artists like Herbie Hancock and Melissa are streamed. Aldana and Angélique Kidjo are streaming in from all over the world. (PBS stations broadcast a special documentary at 8 p.m. on International Jazz Day.)
Separately at 7 p.m., pianist Anthony Wonsey will be performing a live-streamed trio performance from the WEB Du Bois Institute of African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as part of an ongoing weekly YouTube series “Fire Fridays: The Cats Talk Back” from a talk by musicologist Maya Cunningham on gender roles in African American music.
Two festivals will take place in other cities on Friday and Saturday evenings: the Chicago Jazz String Summit, organized by cellist Tomeka Reid, is streamed on his website; and the first Bayfront Jazz Festival will take place in person in Miami, but will also be broadcast on live.eluv.io/bayfront-jazz-festival.
The closure of the pandemic forced the Museum of the Moving Image to stop the exhibition Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey about the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But it will return when the museum reopens to members and certain other ticket holders on Friday and to the general public on Saturday, as well as regular film screenings open to all starting Friday. Starting this weekend, “2001” will be shown alternately on Friday evening on 70 millimeter film and every Sunday afternoon on digital projection.
The museum will also play Kubrick’s other features, starting with “Dr. Strangelove ”(on Sunday and May 7th), and bring you his longtime See It Big! Series that this month includes Steven Spielberg’s Kubrick project “AI Artificial Intelligence” (May 9th and 15th) from 2001.
The museum asks visitors to check its safety guidelines in advance. Information on opening times and tickets can be found at moveimage.us.
Getting salty with cystic fibrosis
For the past four years, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has hosted the Get Salty stand-up event at the Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California, which attracts fun famous people like Sarah Silverman to raise funds to help fight the disease. Since the store has not yet fully reopened this year, the foundation has concentrated on an area that extends across the real and virtual world: the InCrowd Interactive Stage. The performers are then surrounded by a semicircle of screens populated by spectators who are present via zoom.
Muhammad Ali was such a larger than life figure that it can be hard to imagine him as anything other than a world champion. But that’s exactly what Idris Goodwin did in And In This Corner: Cassius Clay of the Atlantic for Kids division of the Atlantic Theater Company.
Directed by Reggie D. White, this episodic audio adaptation of Goodwin’s play follows the Boxer, who was born Cassius Clay Jr., aged 12-22. It shows that Cassius (Franck Juste) was sensitive to injustice – he defeats the bully from the neighborhood – the script also records his internal conflict over participation in a wider struggle: the fight for civil rights.
This nuanced work, which requires reservations, can be streamed free of charge as four segments or as a 55-minute performance on the Atlantic website until May 24th. YouTube listening parties for the entire production are also held every Saturday at 10:30 am Eastern time. This is followed by a discussion with the director and the cast on Saturday and a workshop on making radio plays on May 15th.
A blocked path to progress
After Derek Chauvin’s conviction, it is difficult to find out where we are in what President Biden called our “March for Justice in America.” To provide perspective, the New York Historical Society is offering “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” for free on its website. The exhibition, which appeared in Society in 2018 and 19 and has toured the country since then, examines how deeply ingrained the circumstances of George Floyd’s murder – and many other violent acts like this – really are.
This online version was compiled from photos taken while Black Citizenship was at the Atlanta History Center earlier this year. With this online version, visitors can enlarge images of objects and click on panoramas for a 360-degree view. Starting with Dred Scott’s struggle for citizenship, the exhibit looks at the events that led to the creation of freedoms for black Americans, and then shows how they persevered when Jim Crow’s laws took away many of those freedoms and lifts them off the advancement and advancement of progress has long shaped the life of blacks in this nation.